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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Whale of a Pattern

Maybe I just like wayward sea creatures. Maybe I'm partial to the Gowanus Canal. Or maybe I needed something to smile about. But for some reason, the tale of Sludgie the Whale -- a minke whale who ended up in Brooklyn -- really captured my imagination yesterday.

To be honest, I doubted his existence at first. Surely it's a large dog, I said to my editor, or maybe a section of sewer pipe. After all, we're always chasing down tips of adults floating in the East River that end up being pieces of cardboard. My colleague pointed out that it was likely the bloated body of a mobster, a species more frequently spotted in the Gowanus.

But he was a whale, and he was dubbed Sludgie by an editor with fond memories of Fudgie the Whale. (We didn't have Carvels in Western Pa. when I was growing up, so I've never tasted this treat. Sigh.)

So last night, I decided that the world wouldn't be complete without a crocheted Sludgie. I think the world needs more newsworthy knits! So here he is, complete with removable water spout, if anyone is similarly captivated by him:

Sludgie the Whale pattern

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, small portion of the skein
Or whatever gray yarn you may have in the stash
Zara Plus, baby blue
Or whatever water-colored yarn you may have in the stash
US F/5 3.75 mm
Yarn needle
Small amount stuffing
2 black buttons
Black embroidery thread
Embroidery needle

Who cares?

sc = single crochet
sc2tog = single crochet two together, decreasing a stitch.

Sludgie is crocheted in two pieces then seamed.

Rnd 1: With gray yarn, chain 30, turn
Rnd 2: Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1, turn.
Rnd 3: 2 sc in first stitch, sc in each stitch across, 2sc in last stitch. Ch1 turn.
Rnd 4 and 5: Repeat rounds 2 and 3 once more.
Rnd 6, 7, 8: Repeat round 2.
Rnd 9: sc across 20 stitches, ch 1, trn.
Rnd 10, 11, 12 and 13: sc across 20 stitches, ch 1, turn.
Rnd 14: Sc2tog, sc across until last stitch, Sc2tog.
Rnd 15: sc in each stitch across.
Repeat last two rows four times more. Fasten off.
Reconnect yarn to row 8, opposite beginning of body.
Rnd 9: sc 8, ch1, turn.
Rnd 10 - 15: sc across, ch1, turn.
Rnd 16: 2sc in first stitch, sc across, 2sc in last stitch, ch 1, turn.
Repeat last round five times more
Rnd 22: 2sc in first stitch, sc across next 8 stitches, slip stitch in next 3 stitches, sc across next 8 stitches, 2sc in last stitch. Fasten off.

Repeat Rnds 1 to 22 for other side of Sludgie.

Embroider face:
Sew one button on each side of whale for eyes. Embroider a cute smile on each side with thread and needle.

With gray yarn and yarn needle and starting at left top of whale‘s head, seam the two sides of Sludgie using whatever method you are comfy with. Stuff the whale as you go, making sure that all yarn ends are secured inside. Give him a snug for good measure.

Removable water spout:
I kinda improvised this. I tied the baby blue yarn in a knot at the bottom of a match, then wrapped the yarn tightly around the match, up and down three times. I tied it in a knot at the top then, using a yarn needle, drew the yarn through the top six times, leaving large loops. I bet there’s a better method out there.


Blogger Sandra May Be Knitting A Ranch House said...

carrie, that whale is too darling! i love it. and it comes with a removable water spout? can't stand the cuteness!

lordy, it has so far been a quite depressing week for me, especially with what's going down over on the VT campus. i keep thinking about the families who are directly affected by what happened and it breaks my heart. thanks for putting a smile on my face for the first time in a while. :)

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

So cute! Thanks for the pattern! Now if I could only learn to crochet... lol

10:26 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

oh that is just too cute! good work!

10:33 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

Adorable! I have a bunch of leftover gray Cascade 220 and a new cousin on the way -- think he or she would like his/her own Sludgie?

10:52 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

He is adorable!!!! I love him! Okay, I don't know how to crochet . . . but I think I'm going to have to learn quick and make one for my best friend's son!!!

11:03 AM  
Blogger JessZ said...

Topical crochet! I love it.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Veronique said...

Can't stand the cuteness! And I agree with Sandra, Sludgie supplies us with much needed sunshine :)

11:29 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

This is the cutest thing ever! EVER! It totally reminds me of good ole' fudgy. My mom was a cake decorator at carvel when I was a wee tot so I had quite a few fudgy cakes in my day!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Katy said...

The removable spout is my favorite part. Awesome.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

Cute attack! That is a killer whale! hehehe
Yeah, still working on the whole "learn to crochet" thing :)

What time at The Point on Friday? Can we do dinner afterwards?


2:51 PM  
Blogger Yarn Coffee said...

You're so creative! I love your news worthy knit! I used to be obsessed with whales when I was in middle school. It was after seeing Free Willy I thought I was going to become a whale trainer. That didn't happen but purhaps with inspiration from you I can become a whale creator!!!

Thanks for the pattern!

3:25 PM  
Blogger =joy= said...

i LOVE sludgie!!! i never thought i'd have a favorite line in a pattern but "Gauge: who cares?" made giggle being one that never checks her gauge. thanks for the pattern! i will be crocheting my own sludgie as a reminder of my new york roots. ^_^

3:27 PM  
Blogger Faith! said...

This is great! I'm totally linking to it, thanks for the pattern!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Sludgie is so cute!

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I love it! I think my favorite part is the spout!

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

He looks like such a happy whale! My boyfriend raves about Carvel's Fudgie the Whale all the time..but having lived only in cali, I know of no such thing. Very cute pattern.

5:14 PM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

Oh Sludgie, you are a heart breaker, for sure! That's one of the first patterns (besides those amugurumi) that make me want to learn to crochet!!

6:17 PM  
Blogger schrodinger said...

awwww, sludgie is too cute, and the removable water spout just completes him :)

I'm with Sandra, it's been a very sad week - I hope that we get some good news about sludgie.

6:59 PM  
Blogger daveheiny said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:16 PM  
Blogger daveheiny said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:22 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Too too cute. That will be a fun quickie for many a kiddo in my future, I can bet on that.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

Oh that is just adorable! Very clever!

10:15 PM  
Blogger Kym said...

OMG, Carrie, you are my hero! I Love Sludgie :)

You need to go out and get some Carvel now- it's the best. My mom used to take me every Wednesday when I was little because it was buy 1 get 1 free sundae day. Good times.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Mintyfresh said...

the water spout is what transforms a cute toy into a totally fantabulastic toy! ohmigod, I am totally making this.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Sludgie is most adorable! During the 70s in eastern PA, Tom Carvel's dulcet tones rang out regularly during afternoon tv time. Fudgie the Whale. Cookie Puss. It wasn't a birthday without a Carvel ice cream cake. I even know a Tom Carvel joke. (It's a visual.)

10:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

How cute!!!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

cute little whale! i feel like i've been in a time warp this week with little news from the outside world. it there really a whale in brooklyn?

11:15 PM  
Anonymous frecklegirl jess said...

We all needed a bit of happy... so cute!

I really need to learn to crochet. Darnit.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Sachi said...

Love, love LOVE!!!!!

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

I love Sludgie the Whale! The name is fabulous and the knitted version is so adorable. When I was kid we got my Dad a Fudgie the Whale cake from Carvel for Father's Day every year. Whale of a cake for a whale of a guy. That's what the commercial said and that's we we had written on the cake every year. I miss Fudgie.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sooooo cute! Thanks for the pattern! I will make this in memoriam, for Sludgie. (How sad that he died! Poor Sludgie...)

12:24 PM  
Blogger KnittenKnots said...

By far the cutest whale I've seen to date! ;-) The little water spout puts him right over the top - adorable.

3:24 PM  
Blogger jenna said...

Ha!..."wayward sea creatures."
He's cute! I've never had a Fudgie the Whale cake either.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous kaitlyn said...

dude, I am so pathetically out of it. I disregarded your mention of sludgy on the listserve and didn't even know there was a whale in Brooklyn until this moment. I love your whale!!!

must read news.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Miss Scarlett said...

That is so adorable! I love the removable water spout.
Ok - gauge - who cares? That is so fun to read! If only more patterns were as simple.
I can't believe there is a whale in Brooklyn. I am following those links right now.

11:52 AM  
Blogger melissa said...

that's almost impossibly cute! i wish i knew how to crochet... :)

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I love your Sludgie! He gets my vote for cutest crocheted animal ever.

5:50 PM  
Blogger So Much Fun said...

OMG that is the cutest little whale! Being on the west coast I had not heard that story, way to crochet it!

1:18 PM  
Blogger anneland22 said...

wow that is cute. Thank you for sharing it!

6:58 PM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

Now that is ADORABLE! Oh, if I could just find the time to learn how to crochet! :)

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

OMG!! He is TOO CUTE! I love him, I love him and I want to crochet him! Okay, who can I give crochet whales to???

9:26 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn Handspun said...

I LOVE the whale - so cute - hmmm now all I need to do is pick up the dreaded hook and learn crochet.

4:39 PM  
Blogger GoldieLocs said...

This is so adorable.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

Very cute! I like the water spout, I'd keep it. Clever pattern too!

6:09 PM  
Blogger anneland22 said...

thanks for looking!!! it was a really great pattern to follow!! really well written.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Queen Heather said...

That is so great! I'm an off and on crocheter but I have a son who ADORES sea animals and wants me to make him some. I'll be making this!


10:11 PM  
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4:43 PM  
Anonymous Zoe said...

I think this is completely adorable and I am learning to crochet just so I can make it for my boyfriends birthday.
I was wondering if you could tell me what the abbreviations stand for since I don't know crochet lingo quite yet and am craving to get started on this project.

11:30 PM  
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Anonymous Elliott Broidy said...

cutest thing everrrrrrrrrr

5:21 PM  

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